Missing Middle Housing Comes of Age: What’s working for developers in for sale and for rent applications, what is still missing, and why?


2023-10-20T12:00:00 - 2023-10-20T13:00:00

Choose Your Calendar


    Registration is complimentary and open to everyone.

    Buildings and developers across the country are integrating Missing Middle Housing product types such as cottage courts, fourplexes, and townhouses into their projects to respond the perfect storm of rising costs, shifting household demographics, more sophisticated renters, and the demand and need for non-single family housing choices.

    The panel will explore and discuss how thoughtful site planning and architectural design can deliver attainable housing and differentiate your project from others in the market, how a Missing Middle multifamily development model can be taken to scale with integration into large master planned communities, the role of condominiums in the delivery of for sale Missing Middle housing types, the challenges associates with this approach, and how the market is responding, and what small and medium-sized lot infill opportunities exist and what policy and zoning changes cities or states need to make to make these opportunities feasible.

    ULI’s publication, Attainable Housing, identified Missing Middle Housing as one of three successful approaches for builders to use achieve attainably-priced homes. In this session, Daniel Parolek of Opticos Design, an architect, strategic advisor, and author of “Missing Middle Housing: Thinking Big and Building Small to Respond to Today’s Housing Crisis,” will bring his thought leadership on this topic to lead a discussion with developers about the benefits and challenges of developing Missing Middle Housing, using case studies from both for rent and for sale projects from across the country as reference points. This session will also touch on zoning and land use changes cities from across the country are making to enable these housing types.



    Jonathan Fearn

    Head of Development, Oak Impact Group

    Jonathan Fearn is Head of Development of Oak Impact Group, a real estate firm specializing in the acquisition, development and management of commercial and residential properties. Prior to Oak, Jonathan spent over 15 years in institutional scale residential development – serving most recently as Managing Director of Greystar, where he oversaw all development activities for Greystar in Northern California – a pipeline of over 5,000 units and $3B in value, and as Vice President of Development at SummerHill Housing Group where he was responsible for entitlements for multifamily, single-family and mixed-use projects. Jonathan spent his early career working for Em Johnson Interest, a development firm that specialized in affordable housing and economic development projects within low-income communities. Jonathan is the current Chair of the Oakland Planning Commission and a founding member of the Casita Coalition, group created to advocate for small building forms. He also serves a board member of Housing Trust Silicon Valley, Housing Action Coalition, Council of Urban Infill Builders. He was formally a Co-Chair of the AllHome Regional Impact Council (RIC) – a roundtable of stakeholders convened to address housing insecurity and homelessness.


    Dan Parolek

    Founding Principal, Opticos Design, Inc.

    Daniel Parolek is an architect and urban designer who founded Opticos Design in 1998 and has grown it into a nationally sought-after firm for their expertise in urban placemaking, innovative housing design, and zoning reform to enable 21st century towns and cities to thrive. Daniel is a frequent speaker at conferences and events across the country, most recently the Chicago Humanities Festival, and he has been covered in many high-profile publications including the New York Times, the Washington Post, Next City, Curbed Magazine, Urban Land, and Professional Builder Magazine. His knowledge and foresight makes him a valuable partner/advisor for cities and developers across the country who are striving to respond to the demand for vibrant urban living. In 2011, Daniel created the concept of Missing Middle Housing which started a movement which has achieved international recognition and application. He has written a book on the topic called, “Missing Middle Housing: Thinking Big and Building Small to Respond to the Housing Crisis,” that was released in July of 2020 from Island Press. He also created www.missingmiddlehousing.com which gets tens of thousands of visitors each month. Because of this expertise he has been hired by developers and builders to meet the growing demand for urban, non-single family living and attainability. Examples of this work include the country’s first Missing Middle Neighborhood in Omaha, NE, the Mews Homes in Daybreak, and the country’s largest car-free community, Culdesac Tempe. Due to this expertise and ability to clearly communicate complex concepts he was hired by AARP to educate their members about the value of walkable living and missing middle housing choices. He believes the current zoning system is broken and therefore has been at the forefront of zoning reform to enable walkable urban communities for the past 18 years. He co-authored the definitive book on the topic of Form-Based Coding


    Rick Severance

    President of Wellen Park, Mattamy Homes

    As President of Wellen Park one of Americas largest and fastest selling master planned communities and home to the Atlanta Braves spring training facility, Rick brings over 25 years of experience in community development, consulting, and financial performance to the Mattamy Homes’ team. Since his arrival in June of 2019, the 13,000-acre master plan has completely rebranded and the company has sold well over $250M in real estate assets to residential builders, commercial and hotel developers, healthcare providers and retail operators. Rick is also responsible for launching Wellen Park’s new 75,000 sf downtown, slated to open fully leased in early 2023 as a vibrant mixed-use destination in core of the community. Prior experience includes his role as the President of Babcock Ranch which has been hailed as the first solar city in the US. He was CEO of the Seaside Community Development Company in SEASIDE, Florida where under his leadership the development was awarded TIME Magazine’s Development of the Decade and won ULI’s highest honor the Award of Excellence. He has served as a Senior Vice President of Development Strategy and Operations for The St. Joe Company and for over 8 years, owned and was the CEO of the international consulting firm, New Vector Limited; where his clients included international real estate development companies, national lodging brands, large REIT’ and financial institutions. He started his real estate career as Consulting Senior Manager with Ernst & Young. Florida State University has recognized Rick as a Presidents Society Nominee and he has also been a two-time finalist as alumni of the decade for the Dedman School of Hospitality. He has been and invited speaker alongside Rudi Giuliani on the topic of leadership and by the Urban Land Institute on numerous occasions. He and his wife were named fund raisers of the year for the American Heart Association and are intently committed to bringing clean water to those in need through Charity: Water and Water for Good. He lives in Ft. Myers, Florida with his wife and 3 daughters.